Although it might seem more difficult for UK passport holders to retire to Spain after Brexit, there are a variety of visas available, the most popular being the `non lucrative visa´ (NLV).
If you are planning to move to Spain to retire and won’t need to work to support yourself, then the NLV could be perfect for you. Initially valid for 1 year, you can renew for a further two sets of 2 years to reach the 5 years required for permanent residency.
So how much money do you need to have in the bank?
The Spanish Consulate and Immigration authorities base the amount of money you need to prove on a system called IPREM, you can read more about this here. The Consulate have published the following requirements:
“Financial means required to cover the living expenses and, where appropriate, those of their family members, for one year, in accordance with the following amounts:
– For the support of the main applicant, monthly, 400 % of the IPREM (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples), which in 2023 amounts to €600, being €2,400 or its legal equivalent in foreign currency.
– For the support of each of the family members in charge, monthly, 100% of the IPREM, which in 2023 amounts to €600 or its legal equivalent in foreign currency.”
Annually, this equates to €28,800 for the principal applicant with an additional €7,200 per beneficiary. For example:
A married couple would need €28,800 + €7,200 = €36,000 for 1 year
A family of 4 would need €28,800 + 3 x €7,400 = €50,400 for 1 year
It’s worth noting that this is the absolute minimum – the more resources you can evidence the better the chance of having your NLV application accepted.
So how do you evidence that you meet these requirements?
The official guidance from the Spanish embassy reads as follows:
“The availability of sufficient financial means will be evidenced by the submission of original and stamped documents that verify the perception of a periodic and sufficient income or the holding of an estate that guarantees the perception of that income.”
Not a particularly good explanation of what documentation you have to run out and get, but it’s very rare that they will explain the exact documentation you need. Based on our experience of successful non-lucrative visa applications across all Spanish Consulates in the UK and across the world, our advice would be:
Savings or fixed deposit:
If you have savings or a fixed deposit in the bank, then you will need your bank to provide a stamped Bank Certificate – Spanish Administration loves a good stamp. Explain that you need it for a visa application and the Certificate needs to detail your full name, account number and amount deposited, and ideally your passport number to prove the account relates to you.
We also advise that if you have held the fund over a long period of time, say over 6 months, that the Certificate also reflects this.
Note: If you have a recently deposited lump sum (e.g. from a house sale, inheritance etc), then the Consulate may ask for proof of the source of these funds.
Private Pension funds
If you have a private pension then your provider will need to give you a Pension Certificate proving your monthly/quarterly/annual income, and we recommend you also include your P60 document proving annual income from the previous year if applicable.
Other forms of income
Dividends, rental income etc could all be considered, but it is worth noting that the Consulate reserves the right to reject any proof that they feel doesn’t fit within the Non Lucrative Visa requirements or structure.
Wages/Salary are not allowed – the Consular guidance notes clearly state that “this visa can be requested by third country nationals who wish to reside in Spain without engaging in any work or professional activity.
Some Consulates are requesting to see a P45 as proof that the applicant is no longer working.
What about renewing your Visa?
Your initial visa will last for a year, at the end of the year you will need to renew the Visa for a further two years, this means that you will need to prove that you either continue to have the minimum monthly income required or, if you are working on a base of savings and money in the bank, you will need to prove that you have double the savings you had at the initial visa application.
Remember to keep an eye on the IPREM rate the year you are renewing as the amounts do change.
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The information in this article was correct on the date published.
Article last updated 06.01.2023